Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kanakea Pond


In the Waiākea area called Keaukaha (‘passing current’) at Hilo on the Island of Hawaiʻi a legend refers to a hole called Kaluakoko beneath the water.

A man and a woman lived nearby, and later a second woman came to live with them.

The new wife became jealous of the first, and convinced her to go net fishing one day when the husband was fishing, though the husband had forbidden it because it would affect his fishing.

As she caught shrimp at the edge of a large hole, the second wife pushed her into the hole and covered the entrance with a rock, killing her. Blood spread through the sea foam and the fisherman, followed its trail in his canoe, moved the stone, and saw what had happened.

He confronted the second wife, who lied, and then beat her to death. According to the story, the hole has been referred to as Kaluakoko (‘the Hole of Blood.’) (Cultural Surveys)

Here, Kanakea (‘wide stream’) pond is located. A freshwater subterranean spring rises from a large sinkhole and feeds cold water into the bay at a former fishpond.

Due to apparent remnant of a seaward rock wall at the narrowest point of the channel to the ocean, it is believed to be a loko kuapā.  A cobble field, submerged except during low tide, is in a linear pattern, suggesting they may have been in the formation of the pond wall.  (However, the cobbles may have simple accumulated there by currents or tsunami.)

“There are plenty of ducks in the ponds and streams, at a short distance from the sea, and several large ponds or lakes literally swarm with fish, principally of the mullet kind.”

“The fish in these ponds belong to the king and chiefs, and are tabued from the common people. Along the stone walls which partly encircle these ponds, we saw a number of small huts, where the persons reside who have the care of the fish, and are obliged frequently to feed them with a small kind of muscle, which they procure in the sands round the bay.”  (Ellis, 1823)

“On the nights of high tides every keeper slept by the mākāhā of which he had charge. It was the custom to build small watch houses from which to guard the fish from being stolen at high tide, or from being killed by pigs and dogs; when the tides receded the fish would return to the middle of the pond, out of reach of thieves.”

“On these nights, the keeper would dip his foot into the water at the mākāhā and if the sea pressed in like a stream and felt warm, then he knew that the sluice would be full of fish.”  (Kamakau; Maly)

Railway tracks crossed the pond from about 1916 until 1946 (when they were destroyed by a tsunami;) remnants of the railroad trestle are still visible within and above the surface of the pond.  (Hawaiʻi County)

The pond’s modern name is ‘Ice Pond’ (due to the cold spring-fed waters.)  It is brackish (that word comes from the Middle Dutch root ‘brak’ (‘salty.’))

The adjoining small bay consists of white sand and coral rubble; between 1925 and 1930, coral material dredged from Hilo harbor was deposited on the western side.

The small bay is now referred to as ‘Reed’s Bay.’  It is named after William H Reed. Born in 1814 Belfast, Ireland, Reed was a businessman. He created Reed’s Landing, which he used to moor boats carrying lumber for one of his businesses.  (Hawaiʻi County)

Reed arrived in the Islands in the 1840s and set up a contracting concern specializing in the construction of wharfs, landings, bridges and roads.  Other interests included ranching, trading and retailing.  (Clark)

Across Hilo Bay, Reed also bought an island in 1861, originally known as ‘Koloiki’ (‘little crawling,’) once surrounded by the Wailuku River and Waikapu Stream.

Reed married Jane Stobie Shipman on July 8, 1868 (she was a widow, previously married to William Cornelius Shipman, a missionary assigned to Waiʻōhinu in the district of Kaʻū.  Shipman died in 1861, leaving Jane with her three children, William Herbert, Oliver Taylor and Margaret Clarissa.)

Jane was born in Scotland. At an early age she came to the US with her parents, lived in Quincy, Illinois, and was educated to be a teacher; and in 1853 was married to Reverend Shipman.  (The Friend, December, 1902)

Following his death, Jane moved to Hilo, with her three children and maintained the family by keeping a boarding school until 1868 (when she was married to Reed.)  (The Friend, December, 1902)

William Reed died on November 11, 1880 with no children of his own; Jane inherited the Reed land holdings.  (In 1881, Reed’s stepson William Herbert Shipman and two partners (Captain J. E. Eldarts and Samuel M Damon) purchased the entire ahupuaʻa of Keaʻau, about 70,000-acres from the King Lunalilo estate.)

The image shows the damaged rail line at Kanakea Pond.  (Hawaiʻi County)  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Halekoa


Theodore C Heuck, a German, arrived in the Islands on the British brigantine “Cheerful” January 20, 1850, after a long voyage from Australia.

Heuch was the first professional architect in Honolulu.  Shortly after arrival, he ran an ad in the local paper directed “To Builders” and offered “his services to the people of Honolulu and respectfully solicits their patronage. Plans for stores, dwelling houses or public buildings, also artificial designs furnished with despatch and on moderate terms. Theo Heuck” (Polynesian, August 17, 1850)

Within a year, Heuck announced a partnership with Hermann von Holt, von Holt & Heuck, for the sale of general merchandise.  “The new establishment, adjoining the Seamens’ Bethel, will be open on Saturday, the 12th instant, with a large assortment of goods, just received from Hamburg, ex brig “Lina” … which will be offered on reasonable terms.”  (Polynesian, July 12, 1851)

It was ten years before Heuck’s first important building was put up in Honolulu. This was the Queen's Hospital, erected at the foot of Punchbowl in 1860 - a two-story stone building with a portico across the front. It was well received.  (Peterson)

“This success of this project is very gratifying. … The new edifice is very imposing and handsome … the whole affair will be highly creditable to the taste of the architect, Mr Heuck”.  (The Friend, December 1, 1860)  Heuck later designed the chapel at Mauna Ala, the Royal Mausoleum (1864.)

In 1866, King Kamehameha V looked to have a separate barracks building for the Royal Guard (prior to that time, they were quartered in Fort Kekūanāoʻa (Fort Honolulu, which used to be at the bottom of ‘Fort” Street.))

Prior to becoming a US territory, Hawaiʻi’s modern army consisted of a royal household guard and militia units.  By the 1860s, the Hawaiian military had been reduced to the Royal Guard, a unit assigned to guard the sovereign.

They were also known as the Household Guard, Household Troops, Queen’s Guard, King’s Own and Queen’s Own - they guarded the king and queen and the treasury and participated in state occasions.

On March 4, 1866, Heuck submitted a drawing and verbal description of the proposed Barracks to Governor Dominis - a romantic betowered building of coral rock in the Victorian military style.  (HHF, Peterson)  In 1870, Heuck was contracted to design and build the barracks for the Royal Guard.

Originally completed in 1871, and looking like a medieval castle, about 4,000-coral blocks were cut from the reefs and another 2,350 were brought over from the Old Printing House to form 18-inch thick walls.  The walls were plastered on the inside and the coral exposed on the exterior. The roof was wood framed and covered with Welsh slate shingles.  (Historic Hawaii Foundation)

Heuck had proposed a building of 70 by 110 feet with an open central court of 30 by 40 feet. These dimensions were increased to 84 by 104 and 35 by 53-feet respectively.  (HHF)  Additions were later made to the original open rectangle.

Heuck’s design included archery parapets on the upper walkways, firing loops in the lower walls and towers, and an inner courtyard for roll call.  The construction ran over budget and behind schedule (original estimate was just over $25,000.)  (Kelley)

The open courtyard was surrounded by rooms once used by the guards as a mess hall, kitchen, dispensary, berth room and lockup.)

Halekoa was designed to berth between 86 to 125 soldiers depending on whether double or triple-tier bunks were used. In practice the size of the Royal Guard did not exceed 80 men at any time in the 1870s, 80s or 90s.  (HHF)

When Heuck left Honolulu for Germany in 1874, he was given a special audience with the King, who conferred on him knighthood of the Order of Kamehameha I.  On September 28 he sailed, never to return.   Three years later he died in Hamburg.  (Peterson)

The Barracks predated ʻIolani Palace (1882.)  When the Place was later built, the Barracks was originally located mauka and Diamond Head of it.

In 1893, the Provisional government disbanded the Guard and used the Barracks for munitions storage. The Territorial government took it over in 1899 and used it for office and storage space. After renovations in 1920, it became a service club for about a decade.

In 1929, following another ‘sprucing-up,’ including a coat of white paint or plaster, various government offices occupied it until 1943 when plans were announced for a military museum.

The museum proposal bore no fruit; the building was repaired and renovated again in 1948 for offices for school administration and other government agencies, including the treasury department office use.  (NPS)

Following Statehood, there were plans for the State’s new capitol building being considered.  Architect John Carl Warnecke, son of a German-born father, was influential in the design and construction of the new capitol.  (Warnecke also designed John F Kennedy's grave site at Arlington National Cemetery, and lots of other things.)

However, Halekoa was in the way; the Barracks was condemned and, in 1962, abandoned.  In 1964-65, to make room for the new capitol building, the coral shell of the old building was removed to a corner of the ʻIolani Palace grounds for eventual reconstruction.

This was accomplished by breaking out large sections of the walls. Then stone masons chipped out the original coral blocks and re-set them.  Many were so badly deteriorated that they were unstable.

However, the stone in the ʻEwa wing (an addition to the original Barracks) was salvageable (they left that part out of the reconstruction, but used the material from it.)  Today’s reconstruction bears only a general resemblance to the original structure.  (NPS)

Several other older buildings in the area, including the large vaulted-roofed Armory and the remnant of the older Central Union Church on Beretania Street, facing the Queen’s former residence at Washington Place, were also demolished to make way for the capitol building.

The image shows the original Halekoa (ʻIolani Barracks and the drill shed next to it.) (HSA)  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Lāʻie


During ancient times, various land divisions were used to divide and identify areas of control.  Islands were divided into moku (districts;) moku were divided into ahupuaʻa.  A common feature in each ahupuaʻa was water, typically in the form of a stream or spring.

The Island of Oʻahu has six Moku (districts:) Kona, Koʻolaupoko, Koʻolauloa, Waialua, Waiʻanae and ʻEwa.  The Moku of Koʻolauloa extends from Kalaeokaʻoiʻo (ʻOiʻo Point) in Kualoa to Waimea Bay.

Situated on the koʻolau (windward) side of the island, much of Koʻolauloa had ample rainfall, rich forests, streams, sheltered valleys, broad flat lands, reef protected shores, and rich estuarine environments to support nearshore fisheries.

The area that we refer to today as Lāʻie in Koʻolauloa (short for “lau ʻie; ʻie vine leaf; Pukui - referring to the red-spiked climbing pandanus tree) is made up of two ahupuaʻa, Lāʻiewai (wet Lāʻie) and Lāʻiemaloʻo (dry Lāʻie.)

Hawaiian mythology notes the ʻie vine is sacred to the god Kāne, the procreator, and the goddess of hula, Laka. The area of Lāʻie, prior to Western contact, provided rich resources with its many lo‘i kalo (taro terraces) and ke kai (the ocean ) filled with marine life. In historical times, it also provided sanctuary as a puʻuhonua, a sacred place where fugitives could seek safety from their pursuers. (Benham)

Early descriptions of of this area of Oʻahu were noted by Captain Clerke in 1779, who, following the death of Captain Cook, had succeeded command of the Resolution:
“Run round the Noern (northern) Extreme of the Isle (Oʻahu) which terminates in a low Point rather projecting (Kahuku Point;) off it lay a ledge of rocks extending a full Mile into the Sea … the country in this neighborhood is exceeding fine and fertile; here is a large Village, in the midst of it run up a large-Pyramid doubtlessly part of a Morai (heiau.)”

Lieutenant King also noted the north side of Oʻahu:
“We…sailed along its NE & NW sides but saw nothing of the Soern (Southern) part. What we did see of this Island was by far the most beautiful country of any in the Group … Nothing could exceed the verdure of the hills, nor the Variety which the face of the Country display’d.”

“… the Valleys look’d exceedingly pleasant, near the N Point (Kahuku Point) we were charmd with the narrow border full of Villages, & the Moderate hills that rose behind them … the low land extended far back, & was highly cultivated. Where we Anchord was a charming Landscape (Waimea Bay.)”

With its favorable climate and environment, the Lāʻie area was traditionally divided into a number of smaller sections, each with a sizeable permanent population engaged in intensive cultivation of the relatively flat, low-lying lands between the hills and the coastline.

The area just mauka of the present day Mormon Temple was formerly the largest single wet taro location in the ahupuaʻa.   As evidence of kalo cultivation in the area, just south of Lāʻie, towards Hauʻula, extensive systems of stone terraces for wet taro cultivation (loʻi) were widely distributed, from prehistory into historical times.

After the conquest of Oʻahu in 1795 by Kamehameha I, Lāʻie was given to his half-brother, Kalaʻimamahū who eventually passed it on to his daughter, Kekāuluohi, who in turn passed it to her son with Charles Kanaʻina, Lunalilo.  The entire ahupuaʻa remained under the control of Lunalilo until the Great Māhele.

In March 1865, Brigham Young (President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death in 1877,) in a letter to King Kamehameha V, requested permission to locate an agricultural colony in Lāʻie. The king granted his request.

Mormon missionaries purchased 6,000-acres of the ahupuaʻa of Lāʻiewai to Lāʻiemaloʻo for the Mormon Church.  One thousand acres were arable the remaining land was used for woodland and pasture for 500-head of cattle, 500-sheep, 200-goats and 25-horses.

By 1866, 125 Hawaiian members were living on property and helping with the planting and picking of a substantial cotton crop the land was considered to have a good potential for growing sugarcane.

At the time in the Islands, sugar production was growing in scale; in addition to farming for food for the mission, the Lāʻie land was considered to have a good potential for growing sugar cane.  In 1867, the first sugar cane was planted; in 1868 a mule-powered mill was installed.

Sugar played a central role in providing early members of the Church of Jesus Chris of Later-day Saints (Mormons) on the Lāʻie Plantation with income and financial sustainability.

In less than two years the little colony had grown to seven families from Utah, a Scotsman and 300-Polynesians.  By 1871, a store, dairy and several frame houses had been built there was also a school that nearly 100 boys and girls attended regularly.  During 1883, a substantial new meeting house was built and dedicated the King Kalākaua attended the dedication

In 1890, Kahuku Plantation Company and Oʻahu Railway and Land Company (OR&L) worked together to establish a railroad connecting the sugar industry facilities between Kahuku to the north and Kahana to the south – passing through Lāʻie.  (This served as a common freight carrier until 1931.)

By 1895 the old sugar mill had stood idle almost six years.  The cane was being processed by the Kahuku mill at a much cheaper price than the Lāʻie plantation could produce it.

By the turn of the century many changes had taken place in Lāʻie.  The old mission home was gone, although a new one was in its place; the old sugar mill was no longer functioning; the cane crop was being processed at the Kahuku mill; 450-acres were planted in cane; the homes of the Polynesians had been removed from the sugarcane fields; 250 acres of rice was being cultivated by Chinese families.  (Berge)

The Mormon Temple in Lāʻie - started in 1915 and dedicated on Thanksgiving Day 1919 - was the first such temple to be built outside of continental North America.  The over 47,000-square-foot temple’s exterior is concrete made of crushed lava rock from the area and tooled to a white cream finish.  It attracted more islanders from throughout the South Pacific.

When the Mormon missionaries bought Lāʻie, they hoped to create a gathering place where Native Hawaiian converts could settle, grow strong in their faith, and learn Western-styled industry.  (Compton)

Today, the Temple, Brigham Young University - Hawaiʻi, Polynesian Cultural Center and a variety of other Mormon facilities and followers dominate the Lāʻie landscape.

The image shows an 1884 map of Lāʻie Bay and some of the surrounding land uses (DAGS-Reg1347.)  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ship to Shore


The USS Lexington (CV-2) and sister-ship USS Saratoga (CV-3) were originally designed as battle cruisers.  During construction, the cruiser hull was fitted with a flight deck.  Instead of the typical 16-inch cruiser guns, they each received four twin turret 8-inch guns and other armament.

The Lexington, the first of the Lexington class carriers, launched December 14, 1925, was the US Navy’s first fleet aircraft carrier.  Lexington later served as flagship out of Pearl Harbor on January 11, 1942.  (Alex)

The Lexington-class carriers had one major design flaw - the inclusion of their four twin 8-inch/55 caliber gun mounts, which could only be fired in starboard broadsides.

On January 17, 1942, Rear Adm. William S. Pye, acting commander in chief Pacific Fleet, asked if the Hawaiian Department, US Army, was interested in 8-inch naval mounts and guns that might be removed from navy vessels. The Hawaiian Department immediately replied in the affirmative.  (Bennett)

Lexington and Saratoga underwent armament refitting.  Their original 8-inch guns were replaced with the correct weapon against the carrier’s true foe: enemy carrier aircraft.

In early-1942, these 8-inch guns and turret mountings were removed from Lexington and Saratoga and reused as coastal artillery on the island of Oʻahu.

When selecting locations for the naval turret (NT) batteries, commanders desired to extend fields of fire, chiefly for those areas in which current coverage was light, while placing the turrets far enough inland to function as second lines of defense and to reduce the difficulty of protecting them against small raiding parties.

Four battery sites were picked; on the North Shore were Battery Brodie (later renamed Battery George W Ricker) (775-foot elevation in Waialua;) Battery Opaeula (later renamed Battery Carroll G Riggs) (1,120-foot elevation above the Waialua Agriculture Company’s sugarcane fields near Haleiwa.)

On the South Shore were Battery Salt Lake (later renamed Battery Louis R Burgess) on Damon Estate land at Āliapaʻakai (Salt Lake) (170-190 foot elevation) and Battery Wilridge (later renamed Battery Lewis S Kirkpatrick) on Wiliwilinui Ridge (1,200-foot elevation mauka of Waiʻalae.)

Each 8-inch naval turret (NT) mount included a pair of guns mounted in one slide, both guns elevating and traversing as one unit.  The 8-inch gun-mount housings were lightly armored, only providing shelter from the weather and possibly flying splinters.

All 8-inch NT mounts were designed for 360° fire without interfering with each other. The batteries had a high rate of fire (12-16 rounds per battery per minute.)  Each gun could send a projectile over 18-miles.

The turrets and battery commanders’ stations were the major above-ground features.   All the batteries were constructed of reinforced concrete by cut and cover, with projectile and powder magazines, gas-proof plotting rooms, and bombproof generator rooms 15 to 40-feet below the surface.

Target data was plotted in 24 by 30-foot bombproof and gas-proof plotting rooms.  The rooms were equipped with a vertical escape shaft at one end. Metal staple ladders attached to the wall led to small housings on the roofs with steel-plate doors.

Each magazine contained a room for powder and a room for projectiles (holding 250 of each.)  An additional 600 projectiles were to be stored in racks in the open. Powder and projectiles were elevated to the turret mounts by the elevating mechanisms.

All four battery sites were extensively camouflaged, including dummy gun positions to make up for the lack of antiaircraft defenses.

Target practices were usually carried out once a week, firing one round from each gun at a hypothetical target off shore. Homes near the batteries occasionally suffered broken window glass during firing practices.

The North Shore batteries, Brodie and Opaeula, covered the waters to the north, east and west, and as far south as the Pearl Harbor entrance.  The South Shore batteries, Salt Lake and Wiliwilinui Ridge, covered the waters to the south, southeast and southwest, including the approaches to Honolulu and Pearl Harbors, and could also fire north.

This marked the first time NT mounts had been emplaced on shore as seacoast artillery for the US; it created and engineering and design challenge for the shore-based folks.   Upon completion, however, the batteries proved very successful, being rated four of the best seacoast batteries.  (Lots of information here from Bennett.)

The image shows a USS Lexington 8-inch turret ashore on Oahu, 1942.  In addition, I have included more related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Kaunakahakai


“Morotoi is only two leagues and a half from Mowee to the West North West. The South Western coast, which was the only part near which we approached, is very low; but the land rises backward to considerable height; and, at the distance from which we saw it, appeared to be entirely without wood.”

“Its produce, we were told, consists chiefly of yams. It may, probably, have fresh water, and, on the South and West sides, the coast forms several bays that promise good shelter from the tradewinds.  (King, Voyages of Cook, 1784)

Subsistence farming likely focused on coastal resources, as the region is too dry for wetland agriculture. Dryland agriculture, focusing on sweet potato cultivation, was likely practiced on the slopes. Cultivation of crops occurred in spring-fed areas.

The country … rises from the sea by an ascent, uninterrupted with chasms, hills or vallies, this uniform surface, on advancing to the westward, exhibited a gradual decrease in population; it discovered an uncultivated barren soil, and a tract of land that gave residence only to a few of the lower orders of the islanders, who resort to the shores for the purpose of taking fish, with which they abound.”

“Those so employed are obliged to fetch their fresh water from a great distance; none but which is brackish being attainable on the western parts of Morotoi (Molokai.) This information I had before gained from several chiefs at Mowee ...”

“(Heading to the west end) …The country had the same dreary and barren appearance as that noticed on the south side, and I was informed it was equally destitute of water.”

“(We) proceeded to the bay at the west end of the island, for the purpose of seeing if, contrary to my former observations, it was commodious for the refitting of vessels, as it had been reported.” (Vancouver, 1798)

Vancouver must have seen Kaunakahakai (“resting (on) the beach” or “beach landing” (other explanations of the name include “to go along in the company of four” and “current of the sea”) - it’s an earlier name of what we now call ‘Kaunakakai,’) as it was a landing place for the fishing canoes which were attracted by the multitude of fish in the area.  (McElroy)

When Kamehameha became a man he sailed with a great many people on one hundred canoes; the kind of sails used was mats braided round and flat. They landed at Kaunakahakai and lived there. The reason for this coming was because the king was fond of maika, that is, rolling a stone which was made round with flat sides.  (Fornander)

 He sent a friend to get stones from Kahekili (reportedly Kamehameha’s father) who was living on Oʻahu. Kahekili inquired: "What does the chief desire that he sent you to me?" Kikane answered: "I came to get the stone for a plaything for your child; we came together and he is now residing at Kaunakahakai, Molokai; he sent me to come to you."  (Fornander)

Kahekili again inquired: "What stone does he desire?" He replied: "The stone at the flap of the malo." The meaning of this is that it was a peerless stone, and was carefully guarded.

Kahekili handed over the stones saying: "This, the stone called Hiupa, is not to be cast on the windy side, lest it be struck by the force of the wind and be unsteady in its rolling, for it is a light stone; it is to be cast on the calm side; but this, Kaikimakua, is to be cast on the windward side for it is a heavy stone. The names of these stones are Hiupa and Kaikimakua." (Fornander)

As part of Kamehameha’s later conquest of the Islands, Kamehameha defeated (but did not kill) Kahekili’s son, Kalanikūpule, at the battle known as Kepaniwai (in ʻĪao Valley, Maui.)  Kalanikūpule fled to Oʻahu; Kamehameha and his four “Kona Uncles” (Keʻeaumoku, Keaweaheulu, Kameʻeiamoku and Kamanawa) followed Kalola (Kahekili’s sister) to Molokai and landed at Kaunakakai.

Kalola, who was dying, agreed to give Kamehameha Keōpūolani and her mother Kekuʻiapoiwa Liliha, if he would allow the girls to stay at her death bed until she passed.  Kamehameha camped on Moloka'i until Kalola died, and returned to Kona with his high queen Keōpūolani (and later mother to Kings Kamehameha II and Kamehameha III.)

At Kalola’s death, “They wailed and chanted dirges, and some were put to sleep with the dead, and the chiefs tattooed themselves and knocked out their teeth. Kamehameha was also tattooed and had his eyeteeth knocked out, and the chiefs and commoners acted like madmen.”  (Kamakau)

Kamehameha then formally took charge of and returned to Hawaiʻi with her daughter and granddaughter, not only as a sacred legacy from Kalola, but as a token of reconciliation and alliance between himself and the elder branch of the Keawe dynasty.  (Kalākaua)

Back to Kaunakakai …

King Kamehameha V (Lot Kapuāiwa) sometimes spent his summers on Molokai at a home in Kaunakakai. The main street of Kaunakakai, Ala Mālama Avenue, was named after the king's summer home.

“West of the approach to the Kaunakakai wharf is a built-up platform, the name of which is Ka Lae O Ka Manu, the point of the birds. On this site King Kamehameha V had a home, ‘Mālama’ which was still standing in 1908. “    (Cooke; Hart)

George P Cooke also noted a large bathing pool of King Kamehameha V (filled with dirt now) and a spring near that pool. Reservoirs were dug and the water was well suited for the growing crops; they pumped thousand gallons of water every 24 hours. (Nupepa-Hawaii, Hoku O Hawaii, April 6, 1922)

“The Reverend Isaac D. Iaea told me that there was a spit of sand beyond this platform where the plover used to settle in the evenings, hence the name, Ka Lae O Ka Manu.”  (Cooke; Hart)

The beach in front of this site was used exclusively by the aliʻi for sun bathing.  (McElroy)  Kamehameha V’s property passed to Princess Ruth and later became part of Bishop Estate.

Historic use of Kaunakakai focused on agricultural interests: cattle, sugar and pineapple. In 1897, a group of Honolulu businessmen (including Judge Alfred S Hartwell, Alfred W Carter, and AD McClellan) purchased 70,000-acres from the trustees of the Bishop Estate and leased another 30,000-acres from the Hawaiian government.  At that time, American Sugar Company began sugar cane production on the lands.

About 10 years later, the land was bought out by Charles M Cooke and under his son, George P Cooke, they raised cattle, planted sweet potato and wheat crops and produced honey.  It became the second largest cattle ranch in Hawaiʻi and a major producer of beef.

In 1898, the American Sugar Company, a subsidiary of Moloka‘i Ranch, was formed and the coastal area was used extensively.  The need to transport sugar and cattle prompted the construction of a wharf at Kaunakakai.

Construction of Kaunakakai Harbor began in 1899 with construction of a pier that extended about 1,300-feet seaward from the shore. At that time, a small landing on the end of the mole could accommodate two boats.

In 1921, this mole was extended another 700-feet from the shore. A narrow gauge railroad track, extending from the interior plantation lands ran to the end of the pier.

Soon after, sugar cane cultivation was abandoned when well water pumped upslope to the plantations was too saline and killed the cane. Between 1923 and 1985, several thousand acres were leased to Libby and Del Monte for pineapple cultivation.

During those years, pineapple was an economic mainstay for Molokaʻi; pineapples were shipped to their Honolulu cannery from Kaunakakai.

The town was made famous by R Alex Anderson’s song "The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai", beginning an ongoing tradition of designating an honorary mayor for the town.

The 1935 song was in honor of actor Warner Baxter, the first honorary Mayor of Kaunakakai (also winner of the 2nd Academy Award for best actor for his role as The Cisco Kid in In Old Arizona, and later honorary Mayor of Malibu, CA;) he was followed by boxer Jim Balukevich as the wartime Cockeyed Mayor.  (Congressional Record)

Kaunakakai is an ahupuaʻa in the Kona Moku (district) on the Island of Molokai.  Kaunakakai is also the largest town and commercial center on the island of Molokai, with a population of 3,425, nearly half of the Island’s population (7,345.) (2010 Census)

The image shows a a portion of an 1882 map, noting Kaunakakai and the Kamehameha V (noted as “Ruth’s”) home.  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

City of Joseph in the Valley of Ephraim


“This is the place,” and joy seemed to fill all.

Elder Johnson then suggested that it should be called the Valley of Ephraim (a name that President Lewis had suggested to Brigham Young a few weeks before) and that the city be called Joseph. All agreed.  (Britsch)

But we are getting ahead of ourselves, let's step back.

In September 1850, Elder Charles C. Rich, one of the Church's Twelve Apostles (the leading councils of the Church are the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles), visited a group of Mormon gold miners who were working on the American River near Sacramento, California.

Rich suggested to them that it would be well for them to spend the winter, when mining had to stop, on missions to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiʻi) because expenses were smaller in Honolulu than they were in the gold fields of California.

The next day eight miners were ordained to fill missions to Hawaiʻi, others were added and the whole group sailed for the islands. They arrived on December 12, 1850, the first group of Latter-day Saints missionaries to set foot on that land.  (Britsch)

On October 17th, 1853, a special committee made a trip to Lānaʻi to inspect the ahupua‘a (native land division) of PāIāwai, which belonged to the chief Levi Ha‘alelea. On November 2nd, 1853, the committee reported back to Brigham Young in Utah, that:

“…They found the place well adapted in many respects for this purpose, the soil being good, the situation a central one and having ready intercourse with the two principal markets, Honolulu and Lahaina, and sufficiently isolated to be comparatively free from the surrounding evil influences…” (Maly)

In August 1854, Elder Ephraim Green (1807-1874), a Latter-day Saint missionary to Hawaiʻi, moved to Pālāwai Basin on Lānaʻi with the intention of establishing a new settlement.  Ephraim Green described laying out the city on October 3, 1854 as follows:

“I tuck my cumpas and commenst to lay out a town at the fut of the mountain and laid out one stret runing south to the sea three mildes to a fine litle harbour whare we land out boats hear we intendt to build a (storehouse) to leave our produse. I then laid out three more streats thruing (turning) the town in to blocks fore acres each with the streats fore rods wide. This is a butiful location for a town.”

“This valley is supposed to be of sufficient altitude to admit the growth of wheat, corn, sweet potatoes; with many of the tropical fruits, and we hope that it will prove sufficiently moist to admit of the cultivation of the coffee and grape.”  ((Lewis to Young; Britsch)

“We are situated on this Island, nearly two thousand feet above the level of the sea, in a beautiful valley containing three thousand acres of land.  Here we catch the mountain breeze and the climate is beautiful and healthy. In many places in this country as high and alleviated as this, the rain makes it disagreeable. But here there is no inconvenience felt on that account. Only some times there is a lack for the want of it.”  (Maly)

Over the next year the pioneers planted an amazing variety of seeds, slips, and starts. The list included wheat, oats, barley, grapes, sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes, beans of several kinds, peas, squash, pumpkins, bananas, corn, melons, peaches, plums, quinces, pears, tomatoes, cabbage, and “many kinds of garden seed.”  (Britisch)

But, the weather, particularly the rainfall, had serious consequences – sometimes there was too much, most of the time there was too little.  A spring was about 1-mile from where they lived and farmed.

“… there is not a single stream or spring in this district, and it is with much difficulty that the people manage to get enough drinking water.  Sometimes they have brought water from Lāhainā, and lugged it four miles from the beach to their homes in Pālāwai valley.”  (Gibson)

“The threatenings of war in Utah in 1857 induced every white Mormon Elder to return home. The native church was left to its own guidance.”

“The Utah Elders invariably told the natives that they did not come to establish themselves here, like the missionaries, but simply to teach them what they felt to be the truth, and then go their way to teach others.”  (Gibson, Pacific Commercial Advertiser, October 24, 1861)

Walter Murray Gibson was sent on a mission by Brigham Young to the Far East and came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1861. He subsequently declared himself the “Chief President of the Islands of the Sea and of the Hawaiian Islands, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints.”

The Church sent a group to investigate Gibson’s activities. Upon arrival to the island of Lanai, Joseph F Smith described the situation as follows:

“We found that he had ordained twelve apostles. High priests, seventys, elders, bishops, and “priestesses of temples,” all of whom had to pay a certain sum corresponding to the various degrees of honor bestowed upon them….”

“Gibson had bought the district of Palawai (6,000 acres) by the donation of the Saints, assuring them he was doing it all for them for the Church. He persuaded them to give all they had to the Church and made it a test of fellowship….”

“Brothers Benson and Snow required him to sign the land over to the Church as it was deeded to him and his heirs. This he flatly refused to do informing them he should take his own course.”

Gibson was excommunicated from the Church, although he retained the land which was purchased under the auspices of the Church. (Mormon Sites)

In later years, Pālāwai Basin was planted in pineapple.  In 2004, the Mormon Pacific Historical Society and the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation erected a monument to the Pālāwai Saints paying tribute to those early members who established the first gathering place for Mormons in Hawaiʻi.

The image shows the Mormon memorial, overlooking some of Pālāwai Basin.  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

ʻIliʻili Hānau o Kōloa


Ka ʻiliʻili hānau o Kōloa; ka nalu haʻi o Kāwā.
The reproducing pebbles of Kōloa; the breaking surf of Kāwā.

ʻIliʻili hānau o Kōloa (Birth Pebble of Kōloa) is the mother of rocks for Kaʻū district, referring to the porous pebbles found especially at the beach of Kōloa, Kaʻū district, on Hawaiʻi Island.

Such stones were supposed to grow from a tiny pebble to a good-sized rock and to reproduce themselves if watered once a week. Care had to be taken lest they be stepped upon or otherwise treated with disrespect.

Hence they were carefully wrapped in tapa and laid away on a high rafter of the house. At a child's naming day or on other special occasions such as marriages, wars, and fishing expeditions they were taken down and arranged on ti leaves, together with awa root, upon a mat or table and their wisdom and blessing invoked.

Afterwards some member of the family would have a dream favorable or unfavorable to the project in hand and this was regarded as sent from the god.  (Beckwith)

These are beach worn pebbles. The interest attaching to them is derived from the belief still held by many natives with whom Emerson conversed with that they are of different sexes and beget off spring which increase in size and in turn beget others of their kind.

The males are of a smooth surface without noticeable indentations or pits. The females have these little pits in which their young are developed and in due time separate from their mothers to begin independent existence.

The ‘male’ stones are gray, basalt beach-worn pebbles having no pits or cavities. Most are flat and about an inch in size. The ‘female’ stones (a little bigger) are of the same material; however, they have small pits or cavities within which are very tiny basalt pebbles.

The "children" that are not in the "female" cavities and a less than an inch long.  (Bishop Museum)

William Ellis tells the following account from his brief visit there in 1824:

“We had not traveled far (from Hīlea) before we reached Nīnole, a small village on the sea shore, celebrated on account of a short pebbly beach called Koroa (Kōloa)”.

“(T)he stones of which were reported to possess very singular properties, among others, that of propagating their species.”

“The natives told us it was a wahi pana (place famous) for supplying … the stones for making small adzes and hatchets, before they were acquainted with the use of iron”.

“(B)ut particularly for furnishing the stones of which the gods were made, who presided over most of the games of Hawai‘i.

“Some powers of discrimination, they told us, were necessary to discover the stones which would answer to be deified.”

“When selected they were taken to the Heiau, and there several ceremonies were performed over them. Afterwards, when dressed, and taken to the place where the games were practiced, if the parties to whom they belonged were successful, their fame was established”.

“(B)ut if unsuccessful for several times together, they were either broken to pieces, or thrown contemptuously away.“

“When any were removed for the purpose of being transformed into gods, one of each sex was generally selected; these were always wrapped very carefully together in a piece of native cloth.”

“After a certain time, they said a small stone would be found with them, which, when grown to the size of its parents, was taken to the Heiau, or temple, and afterwards made to preside at the games.  We were really surprised at the tenacity with which this last opinion was adhered to”.

“Koroa [Kōloa] was also a place of importance in times of war, as it furnished the best stones for the slingers.”

“The natives told us it was a wahi pana (place famous) for supplying the black and white kōnane stone.”

“We examined some of the stones. The black ones appeared to be pieces of trap, or compact lava. The white ones were branches of white coral common to all the islands of the Pacific.”

“The angles of both were worn away, and a considerable polish given, by the attrition occasioned by the continual rolling of the surf on the beach.” (Ellis)

The ʻiliʻili from Kōloa were considered the best on the island of Hawaiʻi for hula ʻiliʻili.

The image shows ʻIliʻili Hānau O Kōloa.  (Orr)   In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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